Founding members honoredPublished 11:11pm Friday, February 1, 2013
Historic Bath Foundation honored the founders of the organization last Saturday in Bath.
The nonprofit group came together in the late 1990s — its charter set in 2000 — purposed for education and to assist with those working to restore, preserve and develop the historical culture of Bath. Charles Duckett, Edwinda Shaw, Edward Smith, John Whichard, Buck Sitterson, Milo Gibbs Jr., Wayland Sermons Jr. were the original board.
According to Leigh Swain, Historic Bath Site Manager, what brought them together was not necessarily residency in North Carolina’s oldest town, but an interest in preserving its history. Gibbs, Whichard, Sitterson and Sermons were on hand to receive awards for their work.
For the past several years the foundation has made a point to honor those in the community who work to save and/or restore structures in the historic district.
This time, the goal was to honor those who had the foresight to start the organization that has been instrumental in the preservation of St. Thomas Episcopal Church’s Glebe House, with a grant of $10,000, as well as $25,000 awarded in 2011 to the Bath High School Preservation project, in addition to other funds awarded earlier, among many other projects.
The event’s location was such project: an HBF grant assisted with owner Ken Friedlian’s restoration of a 1906 building on South Main Street that housed Swindell’s Store for many years. According to Swain, founding board member Milo Gibbs had another connection to the building in that his grandfather worked at the store, and shared stories of visiting the store as a child, pointing out where his grandfather’s counter was located in the airy room.
“He was envisioning the footprint of the past,” Swain described.
Board member Gene Roberts presented the awards to the four original board members in attendance.